A while back, I posted this photo on Facebook. What do you think it is?

Jay snow angel








If you guessed a bird landing and taking off in the freshly fallen snow, you’re correct.

I posted this photo because I thought it was cool.  However, the conversation the picture generated surprised me. A member of a paranormal investigation team wrote that a woman had phoned them about a similar picture. Convinced it was paranormal, the caller had asked for the team’s opinion of what caused it. After seeing the photo, the group concluded that “a bird caused it.”

Unhappy with their explanation, the woman consulted others until she found someone who’d told her an American Indian shapeshifter imprinted the snow. Another member of the investigative group replied on Facebook, “She wanted to believe it was something, so she kept asking until someone told her what she wanted to hear.”

This illustrates one of my guiding principles when ghost hunting: Being over-eager to experience the supernatural is ill advised. Simply, if you want to see the paranormal so badly that you’d believe anything, you are letting yourself down.

What are the perils of over-eagerness at experiencing the paranormal?

  • You’re cheating yourself out of future authentic experiences.

Skepticism is one of the most important tools in a ghost hunter’s kit. If you use logic to rule out obvious reasons something has happened, then when the unexplainable occurs, you won’t doubt yourself.

  •  You’ll lose credibility with others.

Like the boy who cried wolf, someone who’s always claiming to experience something—even when there’s solid evidence to explain it—won’t be believed by others again.

  • Don’t expose yourself to potential danger.

I’ve seen people so eager to encounter a ghost that they’ll do anything to engage a spirit, including unknowingly inviting in negative entities or provoking spirits. Don’t get into a situation where you’ll need to bring in a trained professional to get rid of an unwanted house guest.

Treat yourself like the intelligent being you are.

Know that if you’re open to encountering the supernatural and you correctly (and safely) engage spirits, you will eventually witness the supernatural. You won’t need to manufacture an experience and convince yourself it really occurred.

By allowing yourself to enjoy the lovely (yet real world) jay snow angel, you’ll have more appreciation for the unexpected encounter down the road.